Friday, October 26, 2012

Retreats are good for you!

Squam treasures
Gathering special mementos along the way

I am not sure where to begin with my blog post (which is certainly way over due) but to let you know I have returned after five amazing days at Squam by the Sea Retreat at Pine Island, in Corolla, North Carolina. It was a retreat that was full of so many memories and good things, I wanted to share with you.  I was able to re-connect with friends I had met two years ago and gather new friends as well.  There were so many first timers this year, it was fun seeing Squam through their newbie eyes!  I remember that was me just a few years ago.  I got to meet teachers I had never met before, learn new painting techniques, write poetry in my journal during quiet moments, spend time with my roomie Karen D and share fellowship and giggles with my housemates, take in the early morning sunrises, knit socks with the sound of ocean waves in my ears, look for the meteors with my roomies at 1:00 in the morning, capture photos and experience the beautiful sunsets over the sound.

It was an amazing soul searching experience and I came home renewed with my spirit and with my artwork.  Re-entry into normal life was extremely difficult this time around. I still am not ready to let go of all I took in.   I went with the mindset of wanting to experience and receive as much as I could, and I certainly came home overflowed with emotions.  So here are a few memories of mine to share with you, and you can perhaps understand the Squam experience with me. Next time around, perhaps you will be able to join me.

I was so excited to be here!
This was there to greet us as we arrived

My classmates gathered for dinner the night before class
I took three days with Flora Bowley
"Release and Become"

Maya Stein brought her "Type-Rider" for all of us
What a privilege to type from her writing prompt
it was such a thrill for me

A small and precious gift from Flora
we chose before starting class
Trust Your Intuition
I picked just the right one for me!

Opening ceremony with Flora
Letting go of  . . . 

Watching Flora demonstrate for three days
what a beautiful experience it was
I learned so much

My art table ... full of goodness

My painting view
Twinkling lights all over the room

Early morning sunrise
each day got more beautiful than the last

Candlelight closing ceremony
on the beach
My word to Elizabeth

Gallery night and sharing our work with others

"Love on the Beach"
I brought this with me from home
created by Ro Bruhn

Of course there is always treats to bring home
Flora bags, Maya tee shirt and poetry book
Ish (read by Flora during class)
and new Mary Oliver Poetry book
found at the local Island Bookstore

Somehow these pictures just sum up my Squam experience.  Perhaps another post will be all the wonderful pics with friends along the way.  I did post a Squam 2012 photo album on my flicker page if you care to see more! I felt that these favorite moments expressed my retreat for me.  Thank you Elizabeth for your vision to gather women together in a beautiful surrounding and let them let go, create, share, cry, dance and let the experience unfold just the way it is supposed to.  I am grateful . . . so very grateful!

Donna Lee